On this day when we celebrate the Conversion of St. Paul, we read a portion of Lutheran Bible Companion, Volume 2.
God’s act of bringing Saul, a persecutor of Christians, to faith in Christ teaches us that faith is given to us by God as a gift. For Paul himself wrote after his conversion, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).
Jesus confronts Saul and converts him through the Gospel and Baptism. Though Saul was convinced of his righteous mission of persecution, he learned that true righteousness comes only through Christ. The Holy Spirit opened Saul’s eyes and heart to forgiveness through Christ so he boldly confessed His name to his fellow Jews. Due to Saul’s past, Christians are suspicious of him. Due to his new faith, enemies of the Christian faith plot to kill him. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit brings Saul to other believers who help him escape. Through the power of the Gospel, the Church continues to grow. . . .
All we are and all we do depends on His blessing and calling. Trust that the Lord is able to change people’s lives—even people you regard as utterly lost and despicable. How great is our Lord and His grace! For the sake of the Gospel, support and defend the witness of your brothers and sisters in Christ. The Lord your Savior is your defender. The Lord will likewise watch over the future of your congregation. Proclaim Christ! The Savior will bless and keep you.
Devotion is taken from Lutheran Bible Companion, Volume 2, pages 375–76, 397 © 2014 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Chief of sinners though I be,
Jesus shed His blood for me,
Died that I might live on high,
Lives that I might never die.
As the branch is to the vine,
I am His, and He is mine.
Oh, the height of Jesus’ love,
Higher than the heav’ns above,
Deeper than the depths of sea,
Lasting as eternity!
Love that found me—wondrous thought!
Found me when I sought Him not.
O my Savior, help afford
By Your Spirit and Your Word!
When my wayward heart would stray,
Keep me in the narrow way;
Grace in time of need supply
While I live and when I die.
Hymn stanzas are from LSB 611:1–2, 5